Empowerment can be a charged word, and so I want to clear up any confusion about what I mean when I talk about empowering women through birth.
I believe that human beings are inherently worthy of respect and love. Every human on Earth, whether or not they know it, is powerful, and (at least in my opinion!) ought to have sovereignty over his or her own mind and body.
A conversation with a friend today helped me to realize something important: For many people, empowerment may be a negatively charged term - because they are aware that true, real power cannot be given to you from some external source.
Many women know before they ever have their first child, how many children they want, or how many they plan to have. Many other women feel most comfortable leaving this open to whatever they feel God/Source/The Divine has in mind for them. Some, like me, think they know, and then change their minds along the way--maybe several times!
I am an only child, and I loved it that way, growing up. I initially thought I didn't want kids at all. After my first was born, I thought I was done. One baby seemed to be a handful for my older, financially stable parents - so I figured, surely, I was already in over my head..
Sometimes the light is made more brilliant by the contrast of darkness.
Have you had a scary or unpleasant birth experience in the past? If you're expecting again, you might be worried about a repeat of your last birth scenario, and that past fear and anxiety can play a role in the way that your current pregnancy and birth experience unfolds.
We can talk about living in the moment, but when the spectre of labor-past is haunting your thoughts and feelings, it can be hard to move forward.
A video for you! This one's about getting in touch with our prior birth experiences. This sort of navel-gazing can be very insightful, and can help us to identify and clear out old blockages and fears.
Emotional and physiological hurts may be buried deep within us, but introspection and focused attention will often reveal some telling answers.
Childbirth is one area of life that particularly lends itself to energy medicine, aromatherapy, and other non-invasive approaches to health. Notice I say health, instead of a negative term like disease (dis-ease) or dysfunction--because the natural state of the body is health. Since health is our natural state, it would logically follow that we should always begin a course of treatment by using the least invasive means of helping the body return to a state of health.
Commonly referred to as "complimentary" treatments in our country, things like homeopathy, aromatherapy, vibrational medicine and more are very useful and powerful tools in attaining a deeper and more holistic level of wellness.
We hear a lot about postpartum depression nowadays, which is good--awareness is rising, and more women are getting the help they need. However, what's not talked about very often is the possibility of prenatal depression. We tend to hear the opposite--about pregnancy glow, and being awash in the hormones of love, etc.
It took me five entire pregnancies to admit that I don't actually like being pregnant. Of course, I love the building excitement, and the feeling of baby feet kicking in my belly will always be a memory I cherish deeply.
However, during pregnancy, I am not generally happy.